University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)


The UHIP, available since 1994, provides health care coverage comparable to that provided by Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) for all international employees, students, visitors and their accompanying families who are not eligible for OHIP. Participation in UHIP is mandatory for anyone who has a formalized relationship with Waterloo and who is not eligible for provincial health insurance coverage. UHIP must be purchased for any period greater than three weeks for which provincial health insurance is not applicable.

Since the plan is compulsory, internationals should not purchase another health insurance plan to cover them while in Canada.

Enrollment and dependents

You must enroll as soon as you arrive in Ontario. Your dependents must enroll within 30 days of their initial arrival in Canada. If you enroll or re-enroll your dependents more than 30 days after your initial date of arrival in Canada, or after your previous UHIP coverage expires, the late dependent enrolment administrative fee of $500 per dependent and other conditions will apply.

In order to enroll in UHIP, please e-mail Human Resources or visit Human Resources in EC1 to obtain the required paperwork and applicable instructions to initiate the enrollment. Please ensure you bring/provide the following documents:

  • Offer letter/Appointment letter
  • Passport (for employee and dependents, if applicable)
  • Work permit and/or visitor visa
  • Local mailing address including postal code
  • Email address

 Please make arrangements for a translator to accompany you to your appointment if you require assistance with the English language.

Documents required:

  • Offer letter / Appointment letter
  • Passport (for employee and dependents, if applicable)
  • Work permit and/or visitor visa
  • Local mailing address including postal code
  • Email address

Sun Life website and administration

The UHIP plan has a web and mobile version benefit card. This enhancement will enable you to get a UHIP coverage card at your convenience and will always be available to you as long as you remain an eligible member under UHIP.

You will be able to access the Sun Life website approximately 10 days after you have been enrolled in UHIP by the Human Resources department. Instructions for accessing the Sun Life website and receiving your UHIP card. Employees and visitors should always retain their copy of the UHIP application form for their records.

Sun Life allows UHIP members to register for direct deposit of their claim payments and view their claims payment history. Instructions about accessing the Sun Life member site can be found in the Sun Life member website registration guide (PDF).

Further information

Sun Life's Customer Care Centre can be reached at 1-866-500-8447 any business day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

Some students/workers/official visitors may already have coverage equivalent to UHIP through another agency. Only a few plans have pre-approved exemption by Sun Life Financial.

A list of approved plans and the exemption process can be viewed at the UHIP website.